David Berlin midshot

David Berlin

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Juilliard School of Music, New York

David Berlin studied the cello with Lois Simpson at the Sydney Conservatorium and with Channing Robbins at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

For over 25 years David has been at the forefront of music performance in Australia, as Principal Cello of both the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (1985-1988) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (since 1989).

David has made numerous appearances as soloist with these and other Australian orchestras and has been invited to play guest Principal Cello with the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra.

In London in 1992, David gave the world premiere performance of the complete works for cello and piano by Franz Liszt, with Leslie Howard.

David has performed chamber music with violinists Kolja Blacher, James Ehnes, Nigel Kennedy, and Sarah Chang and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, as well as tenor Ian Bostridge.

He has appeared in numerous festivals, and in chamber music projects has toured to Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Along with solo recordings for ABC radio he has appeared as soloist on the Tall Poppies, Chandos and Naxos labels. His recital disc Barber & Debussy with pianist Len Vorster on the Tall Poppies label was nominated by James McCarthy as one of the best classical CDs of 2011 in Limelight magazine.

In 2020 together with Benjamin Martin he released French Cello Sonatas on the ABC Classic label, it has enjoyed highly positive reviews and streaming activity  through Spotify.

David plays on a cello made by Ivan Zgradic in Sherman Oaks, California in 1982.

Last updated 2022

Nat Chee holding violin

Natalie Chee

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Natalie Chee began her musical career at the age of 4 on piano. By age 10 she studied violin with Alex Todicescu, a professor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and member of the Sydney String Quartet.

After winning numerous competitions and prizes in Australia, a young teenage Natalie appeared as a soloist with all of the Australian Symphony Orchestras whist she was in still in high school. In 1994 Natalie was accepted into the Soloist Class of Prof. Igor Ozim in Berne, Switzerland where she received her Soloist Diploma in 1998 with High Distinction.

Still a student, Natalie was invited to become a member of Camerata Bern in the position of 2nd violin leader. During this time, she also co-founded the chamber music ensemble ‘Tiramisu’ and the Mozart Piano Quartet. She toured North and South America, Europe and Australia with these groups and made prominent labels in Switzerland and Germany.

In 2000, Natalie won the position of 1st Concertmaster of Camerata Salzburg – a position she held until 2009. In 2009, Natalie became 1st Concertmaster of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart. She is a regular guest Concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was given the honour of leading this orchestra in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ in 2014.

As of 2019 Natalie became the Concertmaster of the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne.

Last updated 2023

Andra Darzins

Australian Hometown: Adelaide
Education: University of Adelaide, University of Music, Berlin

Andra Darzins is Professor of Viola at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany. Previously (1993-2004) she was principal viola of the Hamburg Philharmonic orchestra. Andra performs and teaches worldwide.

She plays as Guest Principal Viola in major German orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt, Munich Philharmonic (with which she toured Asia under the baton of Lorin Maazel), the Elphilharmonie Orchester (in Hamburg and on tour to Vienna, Paris), the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio under Sir Simon Rattle, and with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich.

Andra is an avid chamber musician, is regularly invited to important festivals, for instance performing Brahms string Quintets and Sextetts at the International Chamber Music Festival in Zagreb, another highlight in 2019 was performing live in Latvian Classical radio, giving a recital with pianist Lauma Skride.

Andra is  often invited as a guest player with the Ensemble Modern, including tours to Paris and to England in 2017, and was part of a CD production with EM, featuring the music of Brian Ferneyhough.

A highlight of 2017 were performances of Morton Feldmans “Rothko Chapel” featuring solo viola with choir, together with the Stuttgart Vokalensemble, including a performance in the auspices of the Schwetzinger Festspiele in the thousand-year-old cathedral in Speyer. Andra recorded this work together with the choir in 2014, this CD was awarded the prestigious Prize of the German Record Critics.

Andra has released six solo CDs, including recordings of the viola concertos by Hoffmeister and Stamitz, in dual function as soloist and conductor. Her recordings have been highly acclaimed by critics and received prizes.

Andra studied at the University of Adelaide and at the University of Music in Berlin with Wolfram Christ. She was a Churchill Fellowship and DAAD scholarship holder. She won first prize in South Australia in the ABC Concerto Competition , the spezial prize “Frederic Liebstoeckl” at the Geneva Music Competition and 2nd prize (no first awarded) at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition.

Since 2006 Andra is artistic director of the St. Antonius Autumn concerts in Stuttgart.

Andra plays a viola built by Guiseppe Odoardi in 1770.

Last updated 2023

Daniel Dodds holding violin

Daniel Dodds

Australian Hometown: Adelaide
Education: Conservatorium of Music, Lucerne, Conservatorium of Utrecht

Born in Australia, Daniel Dodds performed his first concerts at the age of five. At 14 years of age he lived with his family for a year in Linz, Austria, where he visited the music gymnasium. The positive musical experiences and atmosphere experienced during this year confirmed music making as his vocation. At the age of 17 he left Australia, furnished with scholarships for Switzerland to commence his violin studies with Gunars Larsens at the Conservatorium of Music in Lucerne and with Keiko Wataya at the Conservatorium of Utrecht. Attaining all diplomas “with distinction” he received further inspiration in masterclasses with Rudolf Baumgartner, Franco Gulli and one of the grand masters of the golden age of violinists, Nathan Milstein.

“What Daniel Dodds achieved from the first desk in the Dvorák was simply splendid and lent the piece exemplary melodic intensity, sensuous timbre and vigour.” Neue Luzerner Zeitung

A winner and prize winner of several national and international competitions in his years as a student, Daniel was invited by Rudolf Baumgartner to become a member of the Festival Strings Lucerne, later becoming its first concertmaster in 2001 and in 2012 he was appointed the artistic director of the renowned chamber orchestra, leading it in concerts around the globe.

Like Gunars Larsens, his former teacher and predecessor as leader of the Lucerne Festival Strings, Daniel also teaches a violin class at the Lucerne College of Music.

“Violinist Daniel Dodds enthralled both audience and colleagues.  He accomplished this with the solo part of Edouard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole”, a truly brilliant feat…when a virtuoso soloist brings this inspired acoustical picture with so much hearty and fiery passion, seductively romantic, and with a self-evident enthusiasm for technically demanding artistry and indulgent sound tapestry, the heart of the audience melts.” Giessener Anzeiger

In addition to his regular engagements as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Salzburg Camerata, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra, he is a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and forms part of the ensemble of soloists in the star-studded orchestra.

“The performance of the ‘Festival Strings Lucerne’ under Daniel Dodds evinced high string culture, sensitive and subtle interpretation and homogeneous sound. Musical aesthetics at their best.” Schwarzwälder Bote

Daniel’s appearances as a soloist include: Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen, Philharmonic Orchestra Giessen, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Thüringer Symphony Zagreb Philharmonic, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Australian World Orchestra with Zubin Mehta and Sir Simon Rattle. He has performed as a soloist in South America, North America, Europe, Switzerland, Australia and Asia.

Daniel has performed an extensive range of chamber music works, from duo to nonett, from works of the early baroque period to world premieres of works by contemporary composers as well as crossover projects with jazz, tango, and far eastern music. His chamber music partners include Dimitri and Vovka Ashkenazy, Ramin Bahrami, Kolya Blacher, Wolfram Christ, Vivane Hagner, Daniel Hope, James Galway, Ivan Klansky, Tobias Lea, Jens Peter Mainz, Alois Posch, Rafael Rosenfeld, Kathy Selby, Julian Smiles, Herbert Schuch, Martin Stadtfeld, Danuscha Waskiewicz and See Siang Wong.

“The five movements appeared to light up from within of their own accord. Baroque rationality and Romantic emotionalism happily complemented each other: the ‘Strings’ proved to be nimble and adaptable.” Frankfurter Neue Presse

His solo album “Time Transcending” released by Oehms Classics has received high praise from fonoforum magazines in the United States, Europe, Switzerland and Japan.

Daniel Dodds performs on the “ex Hämmerle – ex Baumgartner” 1717 Stradivarius, provided by the foundation of the Festival Strings Lucerne.

Last updated 2023

Tahlia Petrosian

Tahlia Petrosian

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Hochschule für Musik, Berlin, Universität der Künste, Berlin, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Australian Institute of Music

Violist Tahlia Petrosian enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, director of KLASSIK underground, creative producer and member of the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig.

As a soloist and chamber musician, Tahlia has performed in Wigmore Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Semperoper Dresden, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, at Tanglewood Music Center, and directly on 5th Avenue in New York. Her chamber music partners have included Leif Ove Andsnes, Joshua Bell, Gautier Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Antoine Tamestit and Nikolaj Znaider.

Having studied with Tabea Zimmermann and Wilfried Strehle in Berlin, Tahlia’s individual playing style has been recognised with prizes including an Artist Development Award from the Australia Council and the Australian Music Foundation Prize in London. In addition, she has received awards from the Paul Hindemith Gesellschaft in Berlin, the DAAD and the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund in New York.
A member of the Gewandhaus Orchestra since 2012, Tahlia also performs with the Australian World Orchestra. She has taught at the Guildhall School in London and the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.

Tahlia is much sought after as a consultant and creative producer for leading orchestras and arts organisations. In 2016, Tahlia created KLASSIK underground, which has since been profiled in publications from New York’s Travel and Leisure Magazine to the Financial Review and the Japan Times. In 2018, Tahlia was featured in the Gewandhaus project “TwoPlayToPlay” and, in 2019, Tahlia took on the role of Creative Producer at HarrisonParrott in London, where she developed special projects for institutions including Tate Modern and the BBC, and was the producer for the highly successful “50 Years in a Day” concerts at Southbank Centre for the 50th anniversary of HarrisonParrott. Also in 2019, Tahlia directed the national music programs of the Norwegian arts organisation, Talent Norge.

In 2021, Tahlia created the new online concert format, “Resonate”, in collaboration with the Goethe Institute, the Karajan Institute and Symmetrica Creative Technology. Also in 2021, Tahlia conceptualised and produced three concert films based on Dante’s “Divina Commedia”, featuring musicians of the Gewandhaus Orchestra. These films were presented in German cinema and in Australia by the Italian Cultural Institute.

Tahlia has been a guest speaker at the Karajan Conference Salzburg, the ARTS+ Conference Frankfurt and the Avant Première Music + Media Market Vienna. In 2022, Tahlia will be a guest speaker at the national Deutscher Orchestertag and at the Edinburgh International Culture Summit.

Born in Sydney, Tahlia initially studied Law in Australia, completing her studies two years early and winning multiple university prizes. Tahlia also studied Law at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her academic work has been published in the Australian Journal of International Law and has been cited in publications and by institutions including the Chicago Journal of International Law, the Washington College of Law and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Tahlia speaks French, German and Mandarin.


Last updated 2022

Julian Thompson

Australian Hometown(s): Canberra & Sydney
Education: Australian National University, Australian National Academy of Music

Hailing from Canberra, Julian is one of the most versatile cellists of his generation.  For the last 14 years Julian has toured Australia and the world with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), regularly performing in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and he appears on many of the ACO’s recordings.  Julian is in much demand as a recording artist and his solo cello performances can be heard in films such as Sherpa (2015), Tanna (2015), Miracle on Everest (2008), and the Sydney Dance Company productions ab [intra] (2018) and 2 One Another (2012).  Most recently Julian recorded all of the solo cello Yidaki parts on the ground breaking Gurrumul album Djarimirri, which was the first recording in an indigenous language to reach No. 1 on the ARIA charts and also won the Best World Music Album ARIA.  In 1999 Julian won the Best World Music Album ARIA for the album Fyvie’s Embrace.

Julian is a Fulbright Scholar and completed a Master of Music Degree in the USA with Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. He also studied at the Australian National University with Lois Simpson and David Pereira and at the Australian National Academy of Music.  As the ACO’s Education Representative Julian has been deeply involved in the creation and development of the ACO’s extensive education programs.  Julian performs regularly with the Australian World Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Julian is the custodian of a beautiful 1729 Guarneri cello, generously gifted to the ACO by Peter Weiss AO (deceased).

Last updated 2020